At this point in the summer, you’ve probably cooled off poolside more times than you can count. But spending time at pools, lakes, rivers, and even splash pads can be dangerous for young children.
According to The Canadian Red Cross, the best way parents can ensure their children stay safe is by practicing active supervision, where you are not only close to your young children, but consciously watching their actions to make sure they don’t get into dangerous situations.
Contrary to popular belief, drownings of young children can be very silent and happen quickly.
“We know from experience that it only takes an instant for a child to slip under the water, and if no one notices this can result in tragedy. It’s important to not only be within reach of your child when they are in the water, but actively supervising them the entire time as well,” said Shelley Dalke, Director, Swimming & Water Safety Programs at The Canadian Red Cross.
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On average, 35 children aged 1-14 die by drowning every year while playing in or around water, according to The Canadian Red Cross.
These tragedies can, however, be prevented through active supervision by a responsible adult.
Here are some tips on keeping children safe near water:
Keep your eyes on the kids all the time. Reading a book, texting or surfing the internet by the pool is not active supervision.
Consider requiring young children and non- or weak swimmers to wear a lifejacket to help them stay at the surface.
Take children with you if you need to step away from the water.
Keep backyard pools properly fenced with self-closing and self-latching gates. Pool decks should be cleared of toys and debris to prevent trips and falls. Kiddie pools should be drained when not being supervised.
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